21 Mar 2018
At the Puratos Bakery Schools in India and Brazil, 16- and 17-year-olds are taught the professional skills required to work in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate-making sectors. The programme is designed to give less fortunate youngsters the practical instruction needed to make a decent living. What does it mean to be a Bakery School student? What does a student learn and what are the implications? 18-year-old Pratiksha Ramchandra Jedhe gives us some insights.
As consumer tastes in developing countries are becoming increasingly westernized, the demand for finished goods like cakes, patisserie and chocolate grows. It’s a great opportunity for bakers, pastry shops, hotels and supermarkets. But the shortage of skilled labour makes it hard to meet the growing demand. With very few schools offering professional training, most youngsters have to learn on the job. Which is why Puratos came up with the idea to create Bakery Schools, where 16- and 17-year-olds are taught the professional skills required to work in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate-making sector. Indian student Pratiksha Ramchandra Jedhe tells us how she became a student and what the training entails.
Pratiksha Ramchandra Jedhe is 18 years old and lives with her parents and her brother in Nerul, Navi Mumbai. The Sanskaar Bakery School in this city opened in 2014. The school is located on the premises of the Shiravane Vidyalaya & Jr. College, where Pratiksha studied. “I’ve always wanted to join Puratos Sanskaar, because I want to become an expert in confectionery. So when admissions opened, I immediately applied. I became a student in August 2015 and I really enjoyed it. I liked the labs, the classrooms and the teachers. My favourite class was the manufacturing process of chocolates. ”
Bakery School courses are designed to take pupils beyond basic education and to give them the practical training needed to make a decent living. The programme also includes internships in various companies during which the students are paid. Puratos also commits to employ pupils who graduate from the schools in India, Brazil or elsewhere, or place them with a partner.
The programme is spread over two years and totals approximately 1600 hours and 36 themes. The lessons follow a learning curve: the students first learn all about equipment and ingredients before they are given more technical and practical lessons. The curriculum offers techniques such as chocolate tempering, frozen technology concepts and sourdough baking. But students also learn about hygiene and food safety, good manufacturing practices, food quality and storage. They are also taught English, digital communication, people and sales management, the presentation of finished goods and worldwide trends through the Taste Tomorrow platform. They also visit supermarkets, bakeries and industries in order to learn about market realities.
Pratiksha: “I went to Puratos Sanskaar six days a week, three hours a day. I learned so much! I learned the basics of breads, cookies, cakes and chocolates. I learned and practiced the technique of making all of these from scratch using recipes as well as from premixes. Beside the basics, I practiced making international breads and pastry. I now know how to make frozen desserts, fillings, icings and toppings, I learned all about hygiene and kitchen planning and I know how to present finished products in an attractive way.”
“I was very eager to join the Puratos programme. I dream of becoming a chef in a five-star hotel, so I can learn and earn more and support my family. And later I want to start my own bakery shop. Everything I learned at Puratos Sanskaar contributes to these goals. Not only all the baking techniques, but also the lessons in communication skills, team building and time management.”
To find out more about our Bakery Schools, please visit our Contacts page.